Get ready and buckled up for this cross-country road trip Purple Label rapper Bless McFly is about to take you on. Based out of Newark, the New Jersey-bred artist started making his presence known with his street banger, “Let It Bang”. A year later, McFly, accompanied by his sidekick Purple Smurf, are bringing listeners sonically on a journey with the Jersey/Cali mash-up project, The Medical Mixtape. When you think of Jersey artists, words like “pride” and “underdog” come to mind. Situated next to a state that cradled the beginnings of hip-hop and bred many greats, artists hailing from the Garden State usually make it a point to come correct, letting outsiders know what Jersey is all about and that they’re nothing to fuck with. Taking it to the next level, McFly decided to prove that his home state can still hold its presence regardless of the location, physically or sonically.
With a March 14 release, McFly gets the festivities started early by connecting the best coasts with a common love of smoking. The Black Bart Simpson signifies this mutual interest on “East West Coastin’” when he recognizes and accommodates to the preferential difference in rolling up– “We can roll a Swisha or an Entourage,” he raps. Yes, it does seem like 4/20 would be a more suitable release date for this project, but that’s so cliché. When you’re trying to shine, there’s no reason to be another sheep in a herd of rappers trying to maximize on the weed head holiday. Plus, what ganja lover is going to detest getting a head start?
Along with utilizing Cali-sounding beats like on the track, “Can You Feel”, the mixtape is laced with skits to keep the auditory trip going. McFly’s companion Purple Smurf supplies the comic relief while they make their way out to California, making pit stops for munchies and re-ups. Contributing the vocals to multiple songs on the project, singer Daisy Grant’s crooning leaves listeners wanting for something more. This does not necessarily mean McFly chose a terrible singer to accompany him, it’s just that the singer’s voice, reminiscent of another Jersey artist, Kiely Williams previously of 3LW, is nasally and doesn’t enhance the tracks she is featured on. A stronger vocalist should have been utilized to match McFly’s presence that screams Jersey bravado.
Stand out tracks on The Medical Mixtape include “Don’t Cry” and McFly’s current single, “Steady”. With a Max B and Jim Jones collab feel coupled with a subtle “Gin and Juice” undertone, “Don’t Cry” touches on his growth and successes as his hater-count simultaneously increases. As he raps “My life is beautiful art, I’m painting pictures with raps/ Van Gogh of the flow, Basquiat on the block/ We gettin’ paid and those who hate, probably not,” you can understand why he previously stated on the track, “The man on the ‘gram, but yet, I’m antisocial.” Rightfully so, the artist utilizes this track to communicate that he’s not going to let just anyone in when he has such a promising career ahead of him. Upon listening to “Steady”, you instantly understand why it was chosen to be the next single off the mixtape as it is a solid representation of what the artist can deliver: all-around strong pieces of work you can confidently back. The high-energy track brings a vibe that resonates with that of classic North Jersey parties of ole like the packed out DJ Wallah events at the Treat and crazy nights at Kaneshie’s. Traces of this Jersey energy only shows that no matter how much McFly grows as an artist, his roots will always be apart of him and make its presence known, whether he wills it or not. With a contagious liveliness, the track will garner you as a McFly fan, if you weren’t one already. This is the type of track that proves Jersey artists can stand on their own two without any cosigns or assists.
Even though hopes were high for a more traditional Jersey pride-drenched mixtape, McFly came with a more creative theme for his project that still allowed him to flex his lyrical skillset and represent his roots. You have to applaud McFly for stepping outside of the common Garden State artist formula to make his way to success. Bless McFly is an artist that understands you can’t grow if you don’t fly. And apparently, his chose of flight is medicinal.
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